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Tree preservation orders

Many trees in Shropshire are protected by a preservation order. These are trees of a high amenity value, or which have a significant impact on the environment, and have been identified by us and protected by an order.

Where a TPO is made under Section 198 of the Town and County Planning Act, 1990, the tree or group of trees are identified on a location plan. Copies of the order are served on the owners of land upon which the trees are growing, and on the owner-occupiers of affected and joining properties.

Details of which trees are protected can be obtained from us.

Once an order has been made, you must apply for our consent before a tree can be pruned or felled. In certain circumstances, it may be agreed that pruning or removal may be permitted in order to accommodate development, but the TPO enables us to control these actions and to obtain new planting to replace trees which are removed.

If a tree is cut down, uprooted, wilfully destroyed or deliberately damaged (or pruned in a manner likely to destroy it) in contravention of a TPO, the responsible person may be prosecuted and liable to pay a substantial fine.

Formal permission isn't required to fell protected trees that are dead or dangerous. However, unless the situation demands emergency action, it's necessary to contact us for advice on whether or not the tree is within this category. We may agree to the removal of a protected tree, but the owner will normally be required to replace the tree with one of a suitable species and size.

Further information is contained in the leaflet 'Protected Trees: A Guide to Tree Preservation Order Procedures'. This gives a brief introduction to tree protection procedures and answers some of the most common questions asked by tree owners and the public.